What Should I Do On My First Trip To Oahu
If it’s your first time to Oahu there are a few top things you cannot miss. If you are a keen hiker there are lots of epic trails on the island but there’s also a short trail everyone should do. Hiking to the top of Diamond Head Crater is just a few kilometers and gives you an incredible view of the entire Waikiki area and the beaches in the south.
If you are into history, visiting the Pearl Harbor Museum and memorial site is a very important piece of American war history and makes for a good half-day trip. Renting a car or jumping on a guided tour to the North Shore of Oahu to check out the iconic surf town of Haleiwa is a great way to relax while on vacation
Save 20% On One Adult Admission To The Bishop Museum In Honolulu Hawaii
Save 20% on One Adult Admission to the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii
Use your Visa® card and save 20% off one adult admission to Hawaiis largest museum, the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Founded in 1889, this museum boasts the largest collection of Hawaiian and Polynesian artifacts in the world! Dont miss the world-class planetarium , the “active” volcano display with live lava demonstrations and so much more. Visit for a schedule.
Free guided tours are offered where you can learn about the history, peoples, plants and animals of Hawaii. Or spend some time at our Shop Pacifica for the best in Hawaiian fashion and handmade creations, and Museum souvenirs. The Bishop Museum Café features Hawaiian plates, poke bowls, sandwiches and snacks from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm daily.
To redeem this offer, please visitwww.bishopmuseum.org/visa-offer for your special Visa discount coupon. Present the coupon and your Visa card when purchasing an adult admission at the ticket counter to receive your discount.
Terms and conditions
- Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
- Offer valid only when you pay with a valid Visa card.
- Any taxes are the sole responsibility of the purchaser.
Offer not valid for residents of Austria, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland or Venezuela.
Honolulu Museum Of Art/spalding House
First Wednesday of every month, third Sunday of every month and July 31 are all free admission days. Honolulu Museum of Art also participates in the Blue Star Museums Program, where select museums are free for military personnel during the summer. You can also enter both museums free to visit the museum shop or café. 900 S. Beretania St., 532-8700, honolulumuseum.org.2411 Makiki Heights Drive, 526-1322, honolulumuseum.org/11981-spalding_house.
You May Like: Where To Eat Near Brooklyn Museum
Us Army Museum Of Hawaii
Snap a selfie with the tanks outside. Then, step inside Battery Randolph, step through an aircraft door and learn more about Hawaiian weapons, the history of the military in Hawaii and more.
Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 2161 Klia Road, 955-9552, hiarmymuseumsoc.org. Parking is validated at the Fort DeRussy facilities. $2 for the first hour, $1.25 each additional hour.
What Is The Best Way To Get Around Oahu
If you are booking several tours you may not want to rent a car. However, if you like to explore yourself, it is best to hire a car, which costs about $60-100 per day. This way you can visit the east, north and west coast at your leisure. Within Waikiki, you can use the local bus service or Uber to get around as it is quite a small area. Within Waikiki, you can walk from most hotels to the beach so there is no real need for transport services if you are just enjoying beach days.
Recommended Reading: St Louis Art Museum Membership
How To Get Free Admission Or Discount Tickets To Bishop Museum
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, known simply as the Bishop Museum is the largest museum in the state of Hawaii. It is the premier natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific. Its primary purpose is to represent and serve the interests of Native Hawaiians.
The Bishop is recognized worldwide for its cultural collections, research projects, consulting services, and public educational programs. The collections include millions of objects, documents, and photographs about Hawaii and other Pacific island cultures.
Royal family jewelry, crowns, and other heirlooms showcase the extraordinary history, culture, and environment of Hawaii. Native Hawaiian Items on display include, weapons, feather cloaks, and outrigger canoes, to name just a few.
The museum also has one of the largest natural history specimen collections in the world exceeding 24 million objects. This includes the third-largest entomological collection in the country and the largest collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts in the world.
Bishop Museum Programs & Exhibits
The permanent exhibits take you on a journey through the history of Hawaii, including Polynesian migrations and wayfinding, cultural beliefs and traditions, daily life in ancient Hawaii, important historical events, and much more.
Rotating exhibits taker a deeper dive into artifacts from the collections and millions of stories across hundreds of years of Hawaiian history.
From 2016-2026, the Bishop Museum will champion a decade of strategic transformation. The museum is re-energizing and re-investing in its mission to inspire the local community and visitors through the exploration and celebration of the extraordinary history, culture, and environment of Hawaii and the Pacific.
Listed below and on our calendar, we highlight some of the upcoming programs and exhibits at Bishop Museum.
Ancient Hawaiian Village model on display in the Hawaiian Hall at Bishop Museum 2015 Photo by ericbvd DepositPhotos.com
Don’t Miss: Cabins For Rent Near Creation Museum
Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
Every September you have one chance to see this aviation museum for free. Step inside two battle-scarred hangers and youll find 48 aircraft, including the Flying Tiger and the Swamp Ghost, which spent 30 years in a New Guinea marsh. Free admission is for Museum Day Live, sponsored by Smithsonian Magazine in September. Get your ticket to admit two people for free a few months before at smithsonianmag.com/museumday.
Historic Ford Island, 319 Lexington Blvd., 441-1000, pacificaviationmuseum.org
Hawaii State Art Museum
The I Love Art room is temporarily closed but the museum is still always free. Keiki can visit the galleries or take a walk through the sculpture garden outside to find Mr. Chickenpants and other friends.
Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. No. 1 Capitol District Building, 250 S. Hotel St., second floor, 586-0308, sfca.hawaii.gov/hisam-events
SEE ALSO: Insiders Guide to Honolulu Museums
Also Check: Museum Of Natural Science Houston Tx
Mamiya Science Adventure Center
The Science Adventure Center is an interactive facilitydesigned to givevisitors a good understanding of Hawaii’s natural environment. The entire center is housed inside 16,500 square feet ofspace. This is usually a favorite stop for the kids while visitingthe museum.
Both kids and adults will be delighted seeing the eruptingvolcano, and the manyinteractive learning areas of the Science Center. You willfind this newest building just across the 3 acre courtyard lawn.
How Much Time Should I Spend In Oahu
Most people feel that 7-10 days is a good amount of time to spend on Oahu. This gives you time to book a few tours, rent a car and explore for a few days and unwind with no activities with a few relaxing beach days.
The time will fly by so any less than a week will feel rushed. Basing in Waikiki or the south is fine and how most people structure their stay. You can drive to all parts of the island within an hour from Waikiki so there’s no need to base in multiple locations.
Don’t Miss: How Much Is The Art Museum
Honolulu Museum Of Art
The museum offers free admission for kids 18 years and younger every day. And all families can take advantage of both free admission and hands-on keiki activities at Family Sunday, held on the third Sunday of each month. The popular ohana-focused art event is once again happening in-person once again and tickets can be reserved online to manage crowds and continue to ensure safety of the museums guests.
Honolulu Museum of Art, 900 S. Beretania St., 532-8700, honolulumuseum.org
Discover The Bishop Museum
You will want to devote at least 2-3 hours at the Bishop Museum in order to absorb and appreciate all it has to offer. It has gone through a $20 Million dollar renovation and is a Honolulu attraction that should be a must on your list of things to do in Oahu, even if you’re not a history buff.
If you do enjoy history, learn moreabout the estateand featured items directly from the friendly staff, as you will seethem perform,host and study here.
Valuable items such as the royalcape worn by King Kamehameha himself, made out ofroyal feathers, along with the skeletonof a 55-foot sperm whale,are just some of the special exhibits you will be treated to on yourvisit.
There is also a good display of uniqueitemsfrom other Polynesianislands whose population immigrated to Hawaii.
Parts of the museumthat are notto be missed are the regalKahili Room, the HawaiianHall, and the ScienceAdventure Center. The Science Center is completewith anerupting volcano that will keep both adults and kids entertained.
Join a Bishop Museum & Iolani Palace Combo Tour, which includes transportation and lunch. View more details…
Read Also: Museum Of Movies Los Angeles
Tatau: Marks Of Polynesia November 13 2021 July 4 2022
Bishop Museum understands that storytelling comes in many forms, whether through the spoken word, visual symbolism, musical performance, or other medium. Tattooing has long been held as not just a practice in art but also a way to tell stories through art, through the intimate painting of ones body.
Smoas tatau is one of the worlds most distinct tattoo traditions. It is an indigenous art form dating back 2,000 years, and has played a pivotal role in the preservation and propagation of Samoan culture. In Smoa, tufuga t tatau are granted high status in society and acquiring tatau is considered a powerful affirmation of national identity, particularly for young men, for whom it is an important rite of passage.
The exhibition Tatau: Marks of Polynesia is an opportunity to learn what tatau signifies in Samoan culture, and how it helps Samoans and other Polynesians living abroad stay connected to their identity and heritage. This exhibition showcases the work of traditional tatau masters alongside that of younger practitioners and artists who are adopting tataus motifs and styles for new media and art forms.
Bishop Museum is Open Daily from 9 am 5 pm. Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas Day.
More info: Tatau Bishop Museum
John Young Museum Of Art
Always free. On the University of Hawaii at Mnoa campus,2500 Dole St., 956-7198, hawaii.edu/johnyoung-museum/collection/.
Always free. 417 S. King St., 539-4999, jhchawaii.net/what-we-do/.
Always free. 3860 Mnoa Road, 988-0456, manoa.hawaii.edu/lyonarboretum.
Recommended Reading: Legion Of Honor Museum Store
How To Get Free And Discount Admission To Bishop Museum
There are a number of ways to save on admission tickets to the Bishop Museum:
Join Bishop Museum. Annual membership begins at $70/individual. Pays for itself in five visits or less, and is tax deductible. Benefits include free admission and parking, shopping discounts in the gift shop and café, special invitations, a free e-newsletter, and other benefits. More info:
Volunteer at Bishop Museum. As an active, long-term volunteer at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, you will have access to a number of benefits, including free admission and parking, discounts in the gift shop and café, guest passes, and other benefits. More info:
Kamaina or military discount. Admission is $14.95 with valid identification.
Groupon discount. Search Groupon for a discount on General Admission to Bishop Museum :
Go Oahu Pass. Purchase a 3-, 5-, or 7-day pass and save up to 55% on admission fees when visiting several attractions on Oahu. Go Oahu Card | Oahu Attractions Pass
Painting by George Carter of Captain James Cook battle with Hawaiians at Kealakekua Bay, 1783 Depositphotos.com
What Are The Best Neighborhoods For Shopping
Waikiki is the luxury shopping center of the island. You can find lots of upmarket stores in the strip, which is fun to walk up and down at night. Rolex, Gucci, and other high-end stores can be found in this area but there are also lots of regular stores like H& M and souvenir stores to find some Hawaiian-style gifts for your family and friends.
Don’t Miss: Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Wedding
Bishop Museum General Admission Ticket
- Within 24 hoursNo refund
- For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experiences start time.
- If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experiences start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
- Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experiences start time will not be accepted.
- Cut-off times are based on the experiences local time.
Vaccine? Quarantine? Masking?
What Are Some Hidden Gems To See In Oahu
The Atlantis Submarine tour is an epic adventure where you will climb aboard a 48-passenger submarine and adventure through the underwater passages of the famous Waikiki beach. Through its portal windows, see Hawaiian fish, coral, turtles, sunken ships and airplanes, and more!
Its truly an amazing experience to see sunken warships and planes and all of the marine life that is now calling it home. Another unique activity on Oahu is to hike to the top of Koko Crater, which is a demanding and steep hike. The unforgiving incline will have you gasping for breath by the time you reach the top.
You May Like: Pima Air And Space Museum Hours
Architecture Of Bishop Museum
The architecture of Bishop Museum alone is worth the visit. Hawaiian Hall and adjacent Polynesian Hall were built in 1889 in the popular Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style of the time. They are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hawaiian Hall was extensively renovated from 2006-2013.
The Bishop Museum grounds consist of several other structures: the Castle Memorial Building, Paki Hall, Hale Waa, Atherton Hlau, the J. Watumull Planetarium, cafe and gift shop, and Hawaiian garden. Bishop Museum buildings, lawns, and courtyards are available for special events. These venue spaces are unique settings for private or corporate functions, from sit-down dinners and receptions to cocktail parties, galas, or lectures and workshops. More info:
What Are The Best Months To Visit Oahu
Oahu is a great place to visit all year round due to its tropical, temperate climate. However, in the winter the big surf in the north of the island can be a huge attraction and there are a number of big-wave surfing events. The summer months of May, June, and July are very popular due to the warm, consistent weather making it perfect for tanning on the beach and sipping cocktails
Don’t Miss: National Civil Rights Museum Virtual Tour
Pearl Harbor National Memorial
Aspiring historians can set foot right where the Pearl Harbor attacks took place 75 years ago. Experience the Road to War and the Attack through personal memorabilia, photographs and artifacts. Book ahead or get there early to receive same-day timed tickets to take a ferry to the USS Arizona Memorial. If you have a little one, be aware that strollers are not allowed on the ferry and that you will need to watch a 23-minute documentary about the war before boarding. Visit the website for a full rundown on bag checks, bathrooms and how to secure tickets.
Daily, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. , 1 Arizona Memorial Place, 422-3399, nps.gov/valr
What Neighborhood Should I Stay In When I Visit Oahu
Waikiki is the hub of Oahu. Lets start with Waikiki because it is the most popular place to stay in Oahu. The majority of the hotels are on this famous strip of beach. There are hundreds of restaurants, cafes, tour centers, transport options, and convenience stores. It has a great little surf break perfect for beginners. The water is warm, the cocktails are flowing and it is an all-around beach vibe.
For families: Waikiki is the number one choice for families. They are centrally located for all of the tours to different spots around the island. Kids have protected beaches to swim in without worrying about waves. There are several man-made reef breaks, which act as saltwater swimming pools. For mom and dad, there are plenty of nightspots and relaxed bars throughout Waikiki. It is a safe neighborhood and it is also a shopping heaven with lots of high-end retailers.
For couples: Honeymooners and couples have found the perfect getaway spot in Waikiki. Think of dining out and nice restaurants each night after a day of adventures each day. It is the perfect base to hit the beaches, adventure the island but still have the luxury of great accommodation, dining, and convenience on your doorstep.
Don’t Miss: The National Wwii Museum New Orleans
Who Was Bernice Pauahi Bishop
Bishop Museum is named for Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop , great-granddaughter of Kamehameha I. She was the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family.
Kamehameha V was a lifelong bachelor. An hour before his death in 1872, he asked Bernice Pauahi Bishop to take the throne, but she declined. Instead, William Charles Lunalilo was elected. Two more monarchs followed, King David Kalkaua aka The Merrie Monarch and Queen Lili`uokalani, before the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893.
During her lifetime, Princess Pauahi witnessed the rapid decline of the Hawaiian population, and along with it a loss of Hawaiian language, culture, and traditions. Believing that education was key to the survival of the Hawaiian people, Princess Pauahi bequeathed her entire estate to create Kamehameha Schools.
Today, the Princesss endowment funds a statewide educational system at 30 preschool sites and three K-12 campuses on Hawaii, Maui and Oahu along with a broad range of community outreach programs.
The Bishop Museum was founded after her death in 1889 by her husband, Charles Reed Bishop to honor his late wife. Over time, the museum has greatly expanded to include an extensive collection of Hawaiian objects, royal family heirlooms, personal and scientific papers, genealogical records, and memorabilia.
Princess Pauahi is interred at Mauna Ala in Honolulu. It is the final resting place of Hawaiis two prominent royal families: the Kamehameha Dynasty and the Kalkaua Dynasty.